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Salary Hikes for Healthcare Workers Expected to Lag Other Industries

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 11, 2011

Healthcare workers can expect an average base salary increase of 2.6% in 2011. That's up from the 2.3% base increase reported in 2010, but slightly below increases of 2.8% projected across all industries for 2011, according to a survey from Hay Group consultants. 

"The healthcare industry did not see salary budgets fall until 2009, while other industries felt the effects of the recession much sooner, lowering salary budgets as early as 2007," said Ron Seifert, executive compensation practice leader for Hay Group's healthcare practice. "So, while healthcare is still 0.2% behind other industries, it seems to be rebounding at a faster pace after taking a deeper dip in a much shorter timeframe."

The survey found that 18% of respondents in all industries said they will maintain a salary freeze across all levels in 2011 to reduce compensation costs, while 4% of respondents in healthcare reported an across-the-board freeze on salaries. 

"Healthcare providers have felt the pinch, but salary budgets are beginning to move upward, mirroring the slow ascent we are seeing in the broader economy," Seifert said. "Interestingly, healthcare salary trends are also starting to track those of other industries, which we haven't seen for at least a decade."

Fewer healthcare executives will see their salaries frozen in 2011, with 8% of organizations reporting a freeze of executive pay. That's compared to more than 20% of organizations that reported freezing executive pay in 2010.

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